Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o talks with host Katie Couric. Photo: AP
For hours on end, star college footballer Manti Te'o would talk on the phone to his long-distance "girlfriend" Lennay Kekua, who he adored.
But in another extraordinary twist in the scandal that has engulfed the Notre Dame linebacker, it has emerged that Te'o was in fact speaking to a man who disguised his voice during the more than 500 hours of phone calls the pair shared.
It sounded like a woman. It's incredible that he can make that noise.
In Te'o's first television interview since it was revealed last week that Kekua did not exist, the 21-year-old claimed one of his acquaintances, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, had disguised his voice and assumed the identity of Kekua to try to establish a romantic relationship with him.
Manti Te'o ... denied being gay. Photo: Reuters
Te'o claims Tuiasosopo, using the fake name and fake photographs, approached him on social media and they soon became a couple, communicating online and on the phone despite never meeting.
And Te'o said he completely fell for the ruse.
"It didn't sound like a man," Te'o told ABC presenter Katie Couric during the interview that aired on Thursday in the US.
Diane O'Meara ... her image was used for the 'fake girlfriend'. Photo: Today, NBC
"It sounded like a woman. It's incredible that he can make that noise."
He also supplied several voicemail messages that were left by Kekua on his phone, an
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